What’s the best way to save photos for Facebook? For years I’ve always simply uploaded JPG images. I would do my edits in Photoshop, resize to 2048 on the long side, flatten the image, convert to sRGB, do any sharpening if needed and then save as JPG making sure to embed the color profile. It works OK, but the images really take a beating after Facebook gets done doing whatever they do with them.
After doing a little bit of reading around and experimenting I’ve found out the best method for preparing photos for Facebook. Presuming of course that you’re uploading them using the High Quality option.
Here’s what I do using Photoshop: First, after you’ve finished all of your post production edits, flatten the file; Layer > Flatten Image. Next, convert it to the correct profile for the web. In this case sRGB IEC61966-2.1; Edit > Convert to Profile. In the Advanced box that pops up, in the Destination area select RGB and in the drop-down make sure to select sRGB IEC61966-2.1. In the Conversion Options I’ve selected Relative Colormetric and left everything else as is. Then click OK. Once you’ve done this you won’t have to make the changes next time. You’ll just click Convert to Profile and then click OK.
Now do any sharpening you want to do if you do any at all. Once you’ve done that then click on File > Export > Export As. If needed change the Format to PNG under File Settings. Make sure that Transparency is checked. Change the width to 2048 and let height do whatever it’s going to do.
NOTE: I’m talking about images that are landscape oriented. I believe that for portrait oriented images you should set the width for 960.
Now, and I think this is important, in the Resample drop-down change it to Preserve Details. Leave Canvass Size alone. If you have copyright and contact info embedded in your metadata, go ahead and select that option. In Convert Color Space make sure that sRGB is selected. For Embed Color Profile, I always check that. Technically, newer browsers are going to treat any image that doesn’t contain an embedded color profile as sRGB IEC61966-2.1. That’s what they’re supposed to do. But I know that some browsers have had a problem with doing this. It’s generally not a huge deal unless the person viewing your image is doing so on a wide gamut monitor. Even then it may be unlikely that they will have a problem and someone using a wide gamut monitor is pretty likely to have taken measures to deal with browser weirdness. Either way, why not just check it and not worry about it.
Now just click Export All and save it to where ever you want to save it. That’s it. You’re done.
I know that some of you use different editing software than Photoshop, or perhaps you simply use Lightroom only. I’m not sure how you would replicate the above with anything else other than Photoshop so you may need to look into that.
Files treated like this will be noticeably better on Facebook than going the JPG route. For me, it’s the best way to save photos for Facebook.
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